Equipping Vocational Discovery

Before you tell your life what you intend to do with it, listen for what it intends to do with you. Before you tell your life what truths and values you have decided to live up to, let your life tell you what truths you embody, what values you represent.

Parker J. Palmer

FTE strives to equip the next generation of leaders who are inspired to do God’s work in the world through his or her own church or academic community. With support, diverse young people can enliven their vocational pursuit, becoming intellectually and spiritually whole leaders. We provide resources created to meet the unique needs of those who are seeking their purpose, passion and call, and the partners who nurture them on their journey.


Books

God Moments: Why Faith Really Matters to a New Generation

A member of Generation X writes about the “puzzling and unorthodox” generation that has a “passion for the sacred.”

Tags: Spirituality, Vocational Discernment, Books


Books

God Underneath: Spiritual Memoirs of a Catholic Priest

This is a memoir by a Roman Catholic priest who believes “spirituality is the very stuff of our lives,” and demonstrates that belief with stories from his life and ministry.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, Students, Young Adults, Pastoral Ministry, Spirituality, Vocational Discernment, Books


Books

God’s Beloved: A Spiritual Biography of Henri Nouwen

O’Laughlin, Nouwen’s teaching assistant at Harvard, who offers his keen sense of Nouwen’s uniqueness.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, Students, Young Adults, Spirituality, Books


Books

God’s Yes Was Louder Than My No: Rethinking the African-American Call to Ministry

An outstanding study of the call to ordained ministry among African-American clergy through a collection of writings about vocation by popular, secular authors.

Tags: Campus Ministry, Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, High School Ministry, Students, Young Adults, Pastoral Ministry, Spirituality


Tools

Going on Retreat: A Beginner’s Guide to the Christian Retreat Experience

Includes wise spiritual counsel and practical tips, including the Spiritual Exercises of Ingnatius of Loyola, as well as a list of retreat centers.

Tags: Faith-based Volunteer, Young Adults, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Spirituality, Tools


Books

Gracious Christianity: Living the Love We Profess

A little book that summarizes the entire scope of Christian theology under a single theme, “gracious love defines the core of God’s character.”

Tags: Faith-based Volunteer, Young Adults, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Spirituality, Books


Books

Greenhouses of Hope

Congregations play a major role in creating communities that support emerging Christian leaders who want to change the world. Authored by Dori Baker and six contributors, Greenhouses of Hope explores the cultures and practices of congregations that inspire young people to explore their vocation and the call to ministry.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Pastoral Ministry, Spirituality, Vocational Discernment, Books


Books

Growing In The Life Of Faith, Second Edition: Education And Christian Practices

Dr. Dykstra, VP for Religion at the Lilly Endowment, Inc., makes the case that the church has a wealth of wisdom for satisfying the hunger to know God deeply.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, Young Adults, Pastoral Ministry, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Spirituality, Books


Tools

Hartford Institute for Religion Research

Hartford Seminary’s Hartford Institute for Religion Research has a 32 year record of rigorous, policy-relevant research, anticipation of emerging issues and commitment to the creative dissemination of learning. This record has earned the Institute an international reputation as an important bridge between the scholarly community and the practice of faith.

Tags: Theological Institutions, Students, Young Adults, Doctoral Education, Seminary Education, Tools


Books

Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther (Hendrickson Classic Biographies)

A most readable and great biography about the man who spearheaded the Protestant Reformation.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, Students, Young Adults, Spirituality, Books



Books

Holy Things for Youth Ministry: 13 Practical Sessions

Holy Things for Youth Ministry is a youth curriculum containing 13 sessions written by individuals who have extensive experience in youth ministry.

Tags: High School Ministry, Students, Young Adults, Leadership Development, Vocational Discernment, Books


Books

How Coffee Saved My Life: And Other Stories of Stumbling to Grace

An incredibly honest account of her year in Latin America while serving within a volunteer program for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Tags: Faith-based Volunteer, Young Adults, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Spirituality, Books


Articles / Whitepapers

How Learning to Lament Can Help Fight Racism

A ‘pause and reflect’ culture is far better than ‘tweet and retweet’ culture.

Tags: High School Ministry, Students, Young Adults, Spirituality, Articles / Whitepapers


Books

How to Find Your Mission in Life

The author of What Color is Your Parachute, uses wit and wisdom to explore the spiritual aspects of finding one’s place in the work world.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, Students, Young Adults, Pastoral Ministry, Spirituality, Vocational Discernment, Books


How Youth Ministry Can Change Theological Education—If We Let It

Since 1993, forty-nine theological seminaries have created opportunities for high school students to participate in on-campus High School Theology Programs (HSTPs) that invite them to engage in serious biblical and theological study. Many of the young people who take part in these programs go on to become pastoral or lay leaders in their churches. What has made these programs so successful — especially given the well-documented “crisis of faith” among young people today?

Tags: High School Ministry, Leadership Development




Books

In Search of Grace: A Religious Outsider’s Journey Across America’s Landscape of Faith

At age 29, Hahn took a two-year journey through the smorgasbord of American and religious communities to produce this “kind of” shoppers’ guide.

Tags: Faith-based Volunteer, Young Adults, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Spirituality, Books



Blogs

Inside Higher Ed

Inside Higher Ed is the online source for news, opinion and jobs for all of higher education.

Tags: Theological Institutions, Students, Doctoral Education, Blogs


Articles / Whitepapers

Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology

Since 1947, Interpretation has offered pastors, scholars and theologians a valuable resource for study, preaching and teaching. Each issue explores a theme or biblical book with writers who have relevant expertise.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Doctoral Education, Pastoral Ministry, Seminary Education, Spirituality, Articles / Whitepapers


Curriculum

Introduction to Peace and Justice

This course begins with reflection on “vocation” or “calling” in life. One of the Beatitudes Jesus proclaimed in His Sermon on the Mount was “Blessed are the Peacemakers.” Throughout this course we will consider the lives of various persons who have responded to a call to be a peacemaker. We will be alert to the variety of ways such a call found expression in their lives. Together we will study the vocation or “call” to nonviolence of Mahatma Gandhi and of Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will elect to study the life and writings of other peacemakers.

Tags: Campus Ministry, Faith-based Volunteer, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Vocational Discernment, Curriculum




Books

John Howard Yoder: Mennonite Patience, Evangelical Witness, Catholic Convictions

A biographical look at Yoder, who put Anabaptist pacificism at the center of ecumenical dialogue. This book is for Christians struggling to understand how faith can open a path to peace.

Tags: Faith-based Volunteer, Young Adults, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Spirituality, Books


Articles / Whitepapers

Journey with Jesus

Every Monday the Journey with Jesus posts a new essay based upon the biblical lectionary, a film review, book review and poem or prayer.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Doctoral Education, Pastoral Ministry, Seminary Education, Spirituality, Articles / Whitepapers


Curriculum

KLESIS

This adult curriculum of Christian formation helps participants transform from outsiders wondering how to connect with the church, to people covenanting together to discern and act on their calling, both individually and in community. John de Beer and Sarah Dylan Breuer created this curriculum. Click here for more information.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Pastoral Ministry, Spirituality, Vocational Discernment, Curriculum


Articles / Whitepapers

Leading Differently: 2016 FTE Christian Leadership Forum Reflections

How do we shape a world with a more hopeful future? This is the question explored by more than 200 faithful leaders at the 2016 FTE Christian Leadership Forum. Over three days in Atlanta, FTE hosted a diverse, intergenerational gathering of Christian leaders—seminarians, faith-based community workers and volunteers, doctoral students, leaders of theological schools, congregations and church-related organizations. This publication includes insights and reflections from several Forum participants as well as written pieces from FTE’s Stephen Lewis and Dori Baker.

Tags: Campus Ministry, Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, High School Ministry, Theological Institutions, Students, Young Adults, Diversity


Books

Leading Lives That Matter

Leading Lives That Matter draws together a wide range of texts—including fiction, autobiography, and philosophy—offering challenge and insight to those who are thinking about what to do with their lives. Instead of giving prescriptive advice, Mark Schwehn and Dorothy Bass approach the subject of vocation as an ongoing conversation. They include in this conversation some of the Western tradition’s best writings on human life—its meaning, purpose, and significance—ranging from ancient Greek poetry to contemporary fiction. Including Leo Tolstoy’s novella The Death of Ivan Ilych as an extended epilogue, this volume will help readers clarify and deepen how they think about their own lives.

Tags: Campus Ministry, Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, High School Ministry, Students, Young Adults, Vocational Discernment, Books


Books

Learning the Language of the Fields: Tilling and Keeping as Christian Vocation

This piece marries Christian theology and spiritual discipline with Native American mythology and organic gardening to deepen our engagement with the places in which we live.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, Students, Young Adults, Pastoral Ministry, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Spirituality, Vocational Discernment




Books

Les Miserables

Classic 19th Century novel that includes a hunted man, social issues like injustice, inequality, civil unrest, a relentless detective, a saintly bishop, a tragic prostitute and her innocent daughter.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, Students, Young Adults, Spirituality, Books


Books

Let Justice Roll Down

Perkins has been a leader in economic development as part of the mission of the church, a theme very close to the hearts of volunteers.

Tags: Faith-based Volunteer, Young Adults, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Spirituality, Books


Curriculum

Let Your Life Speak – Social Justice Vocation Symposium

This course examines fundamental questions of Christian vocation such as the following:

  • What is God’s call for my life, and how do I discern that call?
  • What are my particular talents, gifts, and strengths?
  • How can I use these strengths and gifts as a leader on this campus?
  • How do I see leadership as service?
  • How can I understand my career as ministry, whatever that career may be?

Students will explore what it means to discern, accept, and fulfill one’s call to a life of Christian purpose, service, and leadership. Through exploration of contemporary social issues and service-leadership theories, critical readings and discourse, and theological reflection, students will look to Jesus Christ as a model and archetype for how to lead purposeful lives that respond to the needs of the world. The course places a special emphasis upon service to the poor and dispossessed. Moreover, students are required to engage in collaborative, service projects throughout the semester.

Tags: Campus Ministry, Faith-based Volunteer, Young Adults, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Vocational Discernment, Curriculum




Books

Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Faith in Community

His struggle for justice, wrestling with the meaning of discipleship and example as a central figure in the Confessing Church during the Nazi period, martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer became one of the most influential leaders of the 20th Century.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, Students, Young Adults, Spirituality, Books


Tools

Lilly Endowment, Inc: Religion

In recent years, Lilly Endowment’s religion grant making has been focused on major, interlocking efforts aimed at enhancing and sustaining the quality of ministry in American congregations and parishes. The Endowment has focused on supporting programs and projects that address four broad questions: How do we identify, recruit and call forth a new generation of talented Christian pastors? How do we best prepare and train new ministers for effective and faithful pastoral leadership? How do we improve the skills and sustain the excellence of pastors currently serving congregations? What are basic questions about the current state of the practice of ministry that we need to answer to improve the quality of ministry?

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Theological Institutions, Pastoral Ministry, Spirituality, Tools


Tools

Lilly Theological Research Grants

The Lilly Theological Research Grants program, inaugurated in 1996 and revised in 2001, is designed to enhance the skill and capacity of faculty in ATS schools as theological researchers and scholars. It supports research efforts of faculty, particularly at junior and non-tenured levels in order to nurture the development of their scholarship; seeks to enlarge the pool of faculty actively engaged as theological researchers; works to increase knowledge about grant seeking and the craft of theological research; and nurtures the habit of research as an ongoing aspect of scholarly life.

Tags: Theological Institutions, Students, Doctoral Education, Tools


Lilly Youth Theology Network

Lilly Youth Theology Network is a collaborative effort of Lilly Endowment initiated and inspired Theology Programs for High School Youth located at seminaries, schools of theology, universities, and other church serving organizations across North America. Its mission is to advance the engagement of high school youth and their adult leaders in theological thinking about contemporary issues and vocational discernment. This network seeks to support youth theology programs in recruiting a cadre of theologically minded youth and adults to become committed Christian leaders in church and society.

Tags: High School Ministry


Books

Listen! God Is Calling!: Luther Speaks of Vocation, Faith, and Work

Author D. Michael Bennethum presents Martin Luther’s teaching on vocation as a resource both for individual believers, helping them find deeper meaning in their ordinary daily labors; and for congregations, encouraging them to develop a climate that supports their members at work.

Tags: Campus Ministry, Congregations & Church Related Organizations, High School Ministry, Leadership Development, Pastoral Ministry, Vocational Discernment, Books


Books

Listen! God Is Calling!: Luther Speaks of Vocation, Faith, and Work (Lutheran Voices)

Bennethum uses Luther’s understanding of vocation to help believers find deeper meaning in their ordinary daily labors and communities of faith to support their members at work.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, Students, Young Adults, Seminary Education, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Spirituality, Vocational Discernment


Books

Listening For God: A Ministers Journey Through Silence And Doubt

Weems, an ordained Methodist minister, gives an honest portrayal of her own “spiritual breakdown” and an honest assessment of her love affair with God.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, Students, Young Adults, Pastoral Ministry, Spirituality, Vocational Discernment, Books


Books

Listening for God: Contemporary Literature and the Life of Faith, Volume 1

A resource intended to help readers investigate how life and faith merge in surprising ways and places. Includes excerpts from the works of eight contemporary American authors with author profiles. The reader’s guide:

  • gives leaders an approach for nurturing spiritual growth
  • small group format to aid in community building
  • is accessible for readers with a beginning to intermediate familiarity with the Bible

Tags: Campus Ministry, High School Ministry, Vocational Discernment, Books


Books

Live Your Calling: A Practical Guide to Finding and Fulfilling Your Mission in Life

The authors host the most visited Christian career center on the internet, offers an action plan for self-fulfillment that helps people find their true calling in life.

Tags: Congregations & Church Related Organizations, Faith-based Volunteer, Students, Young Adults, Seminary Education, Spirituality, Vocational Discernment, Books



Books

Living a Life that Matters

Author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, Kushner offers a profound and practical book about doing well by doing good.

Tags: Faith-based Volunteer, Young Adults, Service, Activism & Volunteerism, Spirituality, Books